Tips from the American Lighting Association

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Dazzle guests with a lighted entryway.
When it comes to decorating with lights for the holidays, there are unlimited ways to add twinkle to the inside as well as the outside of your home. Some people favor an elegant, restrained sprinkling of lights around a door, while others go for a more exuberant display of illumination on virtually every surface.

The American Lighting Association offers the following holiday lighting tips and ideas:

Make your home’s entrance a priority — The front door is more than just the entryway into your home; it’s also a welcoming first impression for family and friends. Start by adding a few easy-to-install landscape lights to highlight trees and shrubs or path lighting to illuminate a sidewalk or driveway. Go for low-voltage landscape lights, which are easy to install and consume less energy.

Add drama with color-changing lights — Newer LED lights can add custom color scenes that complement a specific holiday decorating mood. Colors can be changed at the push of a button without changing the fixture, making these products useful year round.

Use lighting to create a focal point — Lights can draw attention to virtually anything — a centerpiece, buffet, unusual decoration — which helps guests know where to focus their eyes.

Add portable spotlights as highlights — These small, inexpensive fixtures typically work with a tabletop dimmer and can create pretty silhouettes, particularly under a Christmas tree.

Illuminate corners — When decorating with lights for the holidays, make your space feel larger by placing spotlights in room corners to illuminate dark spaces.

Swap out lighting accents — Replacing a neutral lampshade with one that is red or gold will soften the light and create a pretty atmosphere when decorating with lights for the holidays. Replace a chandelier’s crystal teardrops with gold, silver or red glass balls or add a few shade charms to add some sparkle.

Try novelty lights — Consider themed novelty lights for a bit of fun when decorating for any holiday. Try string lights in shapes or LED crystal lights on a festive mantle.

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